A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Former Rochester Pharmacist In $191,000 Medicaid Fraud Case

More than $191,000 for Prescriptions Improperly Dispensed by Unlicensed Pharmacist

Arrest Follows Launch of Major AG Initiative to Bolster Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and Protect Taxpayers

Rochester – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that Elizabeth L. Johnson, a former pharmacist, was charged in a felony complaint with defrauding the Medicaid program out of approximately $191,000.  The arrest comes on the heels of Attorney General Schneiderman’s launch of a major initiative to bolster his office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and create a Taxpayer Protection Bureau to crack down on fraud during a period of fiscal crisis.

“This alleged behavior represents another unfortunate example of conduct that rips off New York taxpayers,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “As I said when I unveiled our new Taxpayer Protection Bureau, this office is committed to recovering every tax dollar stolen as a result of Medicaid fraud and other kinds of theft from the people of this state. In this time of fiscal crisis, we can't afford to waste a single penny.” 

Johnson, formerly the Supervising Pharmacist of the Tops Market Pharmacy, located at 710 Lake Avenue in the City of Rochester, was charged with dispensing prescription medications to Medicaid recipients for several months after her license to practice as a pharmacist was suspended and she was excluded from participating as a Medicaid provider by the State. As a result of her conduct, Tops received over $191,000 from the Medicaid program to which it was not entitled.

Johnson, age 49 of Rochester, was arraigned before Rochester City Court Judge Stephen T. Miller on charges of Grand larceny in the Second Degree, a class “C” felony, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First degree and Unauthorized Practice, both class “E” felonies. The defendant was released on her own recognizance and is scheduled to next appear in court on February 17, 2011.

The charges against Johnson are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The prosecution is being handled by Jerry Solomon, Rochester Regional Director of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit under the supervision of  Deputy Attorney General for Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Monica J. Hickey-Martin. The investigation was conducted by Senior Special Investigator Douglas Hinchey and Associate Auditor/Investigator Michael Warfield.  The case was referred to the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General.

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